Have you ever had your screen freeze using Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and had trouble disconnecting from the frozen session?

Occasionally, we receive support requests from our clients to assist with “frozen screens” while using a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environment. What we usually find when we look into these problems are active running sessions with a disconnected status that continue to consume system resources. This occurs because users are able to disconnect from RDS by clicking on the close window icon, instead of properly logging off from the RDS server.

In this blog, we’ll teach you how to remove inactive sessions from Remote Desktop Services, as well as how to prevent them in the future.

How to remove a disconnected user from RDS

To address this “disconnected” issue each time it occurs an administrator needs to complete the following steps:

1. Log onto the RDS server as an administrator.

2. Right click on the taskbar and select Task Manager.

Remote Desktop Services Open Task Manager

3. Click on the Users tab

Remote Desktop Services Task Manager Users Tab

4. Highlight the disconnected user and click Sign Out

Remote Desktop Services Task Manager Sign Out

5. Click Sign out user or Yes at the “Do you want to continue” prompt.

Remote Desktop Services Task Manager Sign Out User

6. Check the user list again to confirm the user session is gone.

Remote Desktop Services User List

While this will fix the issue in the short term, if you’d like to combat this disconnected session irritant once and for all, then we suggest changing the Remote App Session Properties to automatically logout an inactive user after a predetermined amount of time.

Setting Auto Logout

In order to set up automatic logout, you must follow these steps and be the server administrator:

1. From the RDS server open Server Manager & select Remote Desktop Services

Remote Desktop Services Server Manager

2. Choose your Collection name (this is unique to your environment).

Remote Desktop Services Choosing Collection

3. From the Properties window, select the Tasks drop down

Remote Desktop Services Server Manager Properties

4. From the Tasks drop down, select Edit Properties

Remote Desktop Services Edit Properties

5. Expand Session under Session Collection and edit the Session Settings as desired, then click Apply and OK to save.

Remote App Properties

We recommend the following session limits:

  • End a disconnected session – 5 minutes
  • Active session limit – Never
  • Idle session limit – 8 hours

By adjusting your settings to automatically disconnect users when they don’t log out properly, you can avoid the headache of screen freezes due to resources being consumed by these phantom users.

Still Need Help? FMT is Here for You!

If you would like assistance with this or any other Microsoft concepts, please contact FMT Consultants, Inc. using the form below.